The laws of Delaware are some of the most important to any business entity in the United States, because of the large number of businesses that incorporate there. Over half of the publicly traded companies in the United States and 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are incorporated there. Even if you aren't a company incorporated in Delaware, you are probably doing business with someone who is.
Delaware state laws are among the most well-developed of any state in the country, as befits the very first state to ratify the constitution. Corporations have flocked to Delaware for a number of reasons, most notably the state's liberal provisions regarding corporate management over shareholder interest, the lack of income tax on corporations, the existence of a separate court of equity handling business cases and the tremendous experience of Delaware courts in handling corporate cases.
The Delaware court system consists of the Supreme Court, which is the sole appellate court in the state; a superior court; family court; and the court of chancery, which is the court that generally hears cases involving business.
You should know that:
1. Delaware courts are so respected in matters of business law that their precedents are often followed by courts of other states and even at the federal level.
2. Not surprisingly, there are an outsize number of Delaware law firms that practice business law.
3. Most of the main Delaware law firms are located in Wilmington; however, many firms in larger cities near the state, such as Philadelphia and Baltimore, have lawyers licensed to practice in Delaware.
Know where to find Delaware lawResearching the laws in Delaware can help you in any legal dealings in the state.
State of Delaware has an online code that also offers links to regulatory codes and city and town charters. Because business law is so important in Delaware, the Division of Corporations runs its own separate website dealing with Delaware state law involving corporations and business entities. This website, in addition to the Delaware law itself, has information about taxes, filing requirements and other corporate necessities.
Understand what Delaware law meansWhether you are planning on incorporating your business in Delaware or have a case in the state, here are some resources that can help you.
Delaware official website for the state, which has an area for businesses with frequently asked questions about incorporating in the state. Delaware Legal Opinion is another site that offers free legal advice on Delaware law in addition to a lawyer referral service. Finally, West, the nation's largest legal publisher, provides several guides to Delaware law which you can order from its website.
Work with Delaware law firms and lawyersLawyers in Delaware can offer you help in working through the ins and outs of the laws of Delaware.
- Make sure you have a basic understanding of the laws of Delaware and the implications before deciding to incorporate into the state.
- Always hire a Delaware attorney or Delaware law firm if you have a complex legal question or dilemma.